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Eight Russian oligarchs sanctioned over their links to Vladimir Putin had been handed ‘golden visas’ to live and work in the UK, the Government has admitted.

The individuals, who ministers said have ‘blood on their hands’, were among 900 Russians given ‘red carpet’ access to the UK if they invested as little as £1million here.

The visas also granted a fast-track route to citizenship, despite warnings they allowed dirty money to flow into Britain unchecked.

Campaigners last night demanded the release of the names of the eight oligarches given 'golden visas' to live and work in the UK. The list is believed to include sanctioned Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich (pictured)

Campaigners last night demanded the release of the names of the eight oligarches given 'golden visas' to live and work in the UK. The list is believed to include sanctioned Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich (pictured)

Campaigners last night demanded the release of the names of the eight oligarches given ‘golden visas’ to live and work in the UK. The list is believed to include sanctioned Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich (pictured)

Campaigners last night demanded the release of the names of the eight, saying the list was the ‘tip of the iceberg’ of corrupt individuals.

It came as ministers announced new powers to ban maintenance on luxury jets and yachts owned by sanctioned oligarchs, and the owner of the £38million superyacht Phi held in London this week was revealed to be Vitaly Vasilievich Kochetkov, a telecoms magnate.

Mr Kochetkov is not on sanctions lists, and Russian agencies last year began probing him for tax evasion, according to media reports.

It came as ministers announced new powers to ban maintenance on luxury jets and yachts owned by sanctioned oligarchs, including the £38million superyacht Phi in London's Canary Wharf

It came as ministers announced new powers to ban maintenance on luxury jets and yachts owned by sanctioned oligarchs, including the £38million superyacht Phi in London's Canary Wharf

It came as ministers announced new powers to ban maintenance on luxury jets and yachts owned by sanctioned oligarchs, including the £38million superyacht Phi in London’s Canary Wharf

Friends of the multi-millionaire told the Financial Times he held citizenship of an EU country.

The eight are likely to include sanctioned Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich, who held a golden visa from the 2000s until 2018.

Layla Moran, foreign affairs spokesman for the Liberal Democrats, which requested the information, said: ‘For too long the Government has rolled out the red carpet for Putin’s cronies. These people should never have been able to buy their way into the UK with ill-gotten wealth.’

Susan Hawley, of Spotlight on Corruption, said: ‘Today’s revelations are just the tip of the iceberg. The Government must come clean about who exactly these eight sanctioned individuals are.’

Source: Daily Mail

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